Middle school students check out college through SKYCTC

Eugenia Scott has unlocked imaginations in the minds of local middle and high school students for seven years.

Scott has run the Governor’s Minority Student College Preparation Program S.T.E.M. initiative to unlock those imaginations. She is an associate professor of oral communication at Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College.

S.T.E.M. stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics. As SKYCTC interprets S.T.E.M. for the local program, it can also stand for Strong Teaching Encouraging Minds, Scott explained.
Students worked on a writing and public speaking exercise Thursday. Scott asked them to be reporters and cover a big story happening at the Nashville or Louisville zoo. She asked them to let their imaginations run wild.

Egypt Cullom of Bowling Green, a rising 10th-grader at Warren Central High School, decided in her news report that the zoo animals would find their way out of their cages and end up in each other’s habitats. She said when she was younger and visited a zoo, she wondered if the zoo animals had little trap doors that they could use to visit.
No one was hurt in Egypt’s zoo fracas. However, the polar bears ended up in the lions’ habitat and became overheated, she told the group.

Another Egypt in the class, Egypt Wafford, a seventh-grader at Henry Moss Middle School, saw a more violent outcome. “One person died because the bear ripped him up,” she reported. The bear was antagonized because “a person was messing with him,” she added.

Jarius Beason, a senior at WCHS, took a nonviolent approach. He reported a man working at the zoo released the animals from their cages, but no one got hurt.

In a discussion that ensued after the exercise, the students talked about how animals might not be violent if they were released from their zoo habitats.

Scott said the purpose of the exercise is to get that spark going in the students’ minds.

Other exercises in the program allow the students to stretch their thinking muscles.

“You need to hold onto your own creativity,” Scott told them.

“I want to enrich their lives a bit,” Scott said. “When they get to college, they will have more information.”

The program started June 9 and continues through Monday at the college. The 25 students come from the Housing Authority of Bowling Green, Trinity Full Gospel Baptist Church and State Street Baptist Church, Scott said.

They’ve worked on writing, public speaking, math and science, plus had a little fun.
“We hope they will become better communicators, able to express themselves,” Scott said.

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